Thursday, August 19, 2010
In the weeks following my brother's death, his 'remains' - what was left of his body after the undertakers turned him into a waxen effigy - have appeared in my dreams several times. Some burial customs give me the ultimate creeps and I have scribbled a few phrases about John which may form a type of free verse/poem, eventually. After a time, I hope this image of him will fade. I'm trying to help the process by looking at pictures of him when he was alive.
Some days ago, I wrote a personal essay that might become funny, but it's very clunky at the moment and needs a lot of work. So, I decided, after stabbing at it repeatedly with my revision pitchfork, to leave it for a while and return to an old story that needed to be fine-tuned and sent out again. I was more successful with that venture, and the story is now in the mail.
When I took the envelopes to the post office to be weighed in order to determine the correct postage for sending them to the United States, the clerk informed me that one of the zip codes was invalid. What the hell? went through my mind but, since I'm a polite Canadian, I didn't say it. Why do our postal service people enter those zip codes in the computer? Who needs that information and why do they need it? In any event, I told the clerk to enter only the first five numbers of the code and the computer accepted the info and produced a stamp label. With all that meticulous attention to detail, my MS is almost certain to go to the right country.
And speaking of countries, okay I wasn't really, but I need to pretend there's continuity here, I'm disappointed in the people that run ours. Members of the Canadian armed forces have a long and honourable record, and our government says it supports our troops. But our veterans disagree and so does the Veterans Affairs Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will soon lose his job. I hope that the injustices he has pointed out will be addressed and not forgotten. A paltry lump sum payment does not adequately provide for veterans whose wounds, physical, and or psychological can have long-term effects on them and on their families. I also hope that veterans, old and young, continue to speak out about this. I am writing a letter to my Member of Parliament. He is a Conservative and I expect a pablum-like response. Possibly, the PMO has already given him a form letter to send out to grumblers like me.
I think I'll go to Timmys now and listen to the grumblers there. Maybe they have a different topic.
'Til next time.